Google+ gets the ax after exposing users’ private info

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You get extra points if you remembered that Google+ was still a thing.
You get extra points if you remembered that Google+ was still a thing.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google took a one-two punch to the chin today by having to admit its once-ballyhooed Facebook competitor is a dud. There’s so little interest in Google+ that it’s being killed off.

That would normally be bad enough, but the shutdown isn’t just because of lack of interest. A bug in Google+ exposed the personal information of users, something Google didn’t mention for a half a year.

iPhone users’ lawsuit against Google thrown out of court

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Case explores the legality of data collection.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A lawsuit against Google, claiming to represent 4.4 million iPhone users, has been thrown out of court by a U.K. judge.

The Apple-using coalition, a group called “Google You Owe Us,” was asking for up to $1 billion in damages. This was to have been split among Safari users affected by Google’s allegedly unlawful data collection, which involved Google supposedly bypassing privacy settings to categorize users for advertising.

Apple tops Best Global Brands list for 6th consecutive year

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Apple hardware
Apple is way ahead of the competition in value.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple has topped Interbrand’s annual list of the Best Global Brands for the sixth consecutive year.

The iPhone-maker, which has seen its brand value increase 16 percent this year, ranked highly in consistency, engagement, and differentiation. It is followed by Google, while Amazon has quickly climbed into third place after its brand value increased an impressive 56 percent.

Google Translate for iOS can speak in Australian, Indian, Spanish accents

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Google Translate can speak in a variety of accents. And it's not just English.
Google Translate can speak in a variety of accents. And it's not just English.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The days are over when Google Translate could only provide spoken translations with an American accent. The latest iOS version adds regional accents from the former British Empire.

And it goes beyond English. French translations can be said in a Canadian accent, for example.

Google is bringing high-end games to Chrome this week

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Google Project Stream
This game is being played in a web browser!
Photo: Google

Google is making it possible to play high-end games on even the cheapest computers.

Project Stream is a new service that will bring the most demanding PC titles to Chrome this week, starting with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. You’ll need a speedy internet connection, but expensive processors and graphics cards aren’t required.  

Google pays $9 billion to stay the default iPhone search engine

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
The amount Google pays Apple to remain the default search engine in Safari might be higher than you expect.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google is the default iPhone search engine in the Safari web browser, but not because Apple thinks it’s the best option. No, Google will pay $9 billion this year for the privilege, according to an analyst’s estimate.

And the amount could be much higher next year.

Apple tells Senate privacy is a ‘fundamental human right’

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Apple
Bud Tribble has been with Apple longer than any other employee.
Photo: CSPAN

Apple’s VP of software technology, Bud Tribble, made an appearance before the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee today to advocate for an overhaul of privacy laws in the country.

During the hearing, Apple was joined by other figures from tech giants like Google, Amazon, Twitter, and others to advise lawmakers on the current state of internet privacy. Tribble told lawmakers that Apple views privacy as a “fundamental human right,” but the company went short of offering solutions.

Sirius XM plans to buy Pandora for $3.5 billion

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Pandora is finally catching up.
Pandora is about to become part of Sirius XM.
Photo: Pandora

Two of the biggest companies in the music business are teaming up to try to better take on Spotify and Apple Music.

Sirius XM revealed today that it plans to acquire the music streaming service Pandora in a $3.5 billion all-stock deal. The merger is far from a done deal though and according to a report, Pandora will have the opportunity to find a better deal from another company.

Today in Apple history: Google comes out of beta

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Google Apple
Google and Apple were friends at first. It didn't last.
Photo: Google/Apple

September 21: Today in Apple history: Google comes out of beta September 21, 1999: A little startup called Google comes out of beta, with the launch of a website that will let the general public easily search the internet for information.

To Apple, which is embracing the internet with its twin iMac G3 and iBook products, Google seems like the perfect ally. Sadly, the relationship doesn’t remain rosy for long.